“I am your foodservice professional and I am here to consult and help you improve and grow your business. If I can keep them alive and prospering, they’re going to thank me for that and buy their groceries from me.” ~ Kathy Stevenson-Loes
What do you talk about at the appointment when you get it?
Kathy: Through the conversation of setting the appointment, they usually have told you something… no employees, no time, no social media, need to clean up menu, etc.
I really rely on my Business Solutions Team. I always offer to clean up their menu by food costing, revising, and having our company print it for them. I consult with them on their third-party delivery, social media, point-of-sale systems (with PPP money, people have upgraded their POS systems), then the food just follows in the mix of helping them.
I like to show them how we can help them as a company, then deal with the groceries. As long as you know you are doing the right thing, the sales will follow.
** Plus, you must stop talking long enough to LISTEN!!
When do you start compiling the products they are using so when they do begin to order, you are sending them the right products?
Kathy: You have to have one or two warm calls, then gently ask for the product list because it is not good to guess. Nine times out of ten they will give it to you because I will tell them if they want a quote, I need to know what they are using so I am not guessing. I will also tell them a little about my company and how we are different.
At what point do you ask a prospect to fill out a credit app or new account information?
Kathy: Between the time they are giving me their order guide and I am trying to match everything and possibly sampling, is the time I tell them I want to set up an account for them to build their order guide and set pricing, so we are ready to ship when they are ready.
Slow it down to ensure that it is absolutely correct so after a couple of deliveries they are not saying how bad your company is because products are not matched correctly.
Get it right from the beginning!
A BEST TIP from Kathy:
- I create manilla folders for prospects with notes that I take while they are talking to me. This shows them I am PAYING ATTENTION, LISTENING and TAKING NOTES ABOUT THEIR NEEDS AND CONCERNS.
- I keep their menu stapled inside of it with my plans for the day that I typed the night before and printed from my Outlook calendar, and cross things out and make notes as I go.
- At the end of the day, I do my recap and follow up, put my notes in CRM, then start planning the next day by rolling over things that didn’t get done for the next day, so I do not miss anything.
- This is a wonderful visual reassurance for prospects and customers that you are listening and are determined to help them!
- Some customers are put off when DSRs take their notes on a phone or computer because even though you really are taking notes, they may perceive that you are NOT PAYING ATTENTION to them, but maybe answering another customer or doing other work.
>>> When Kathy says she Consults, she is saying, “I am your foodservice professional and I am here to consult and help you improve and grow your business. If I can keep them alive and prospering, they’re going to thank me for that and buy their groceries from me.”
Be a Resource and SELL SOMETHING!